Let the kids flip water bottles, they need it

It begins with the blankie. Mother isn’t able to comfort you all day every day, and your developing brain is rapidly attuning to that fact. But you also aren’t able to comfort yourself, not yet, not entirely; the feelings are too strong, language and notions of cause-and-effect relationships too nascent. And so the blankie. It is, by all accounts, an ordinary blankie. But in your tiny hands it possesses a special power, one that until now has been the exclusive purview of your mother, which is the power to comfort. Of course, even your young and elastic mind can appreciate…

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Nina Freeman’s next game is based on her mom’s 1960s childhood

Game designer Nina Freeman first rose to prominence with How Do You Do It (2014), a game exploring precocious sexuality based on her own experiences as a child. The following year, her senior thesis project at NYU-Poly was commercially released as Cibele, a game about online gaming, sex, and falling in love on the internet. Interested in themes of sexuality and self-reflection, Freeman currently works as a designer at Fullbright. Freeman’s latest project, Kimmy—made in collaboration with Laura Knetzger and Aaron Freedman—shifts the focus to childhood. Based on her mother’s experiences as a babysitter in the 1960s, Kimmy will explore what it was to be a child before the…

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Why adults are drawn to teenage stories

As you walk into Gallery 625 of the European Paintings department in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you confront a rather puzzling work. Madonna and Child, by Italian painter Duccio di Buoninsegna, is much smaller than its neighbours, barely the size of a standard US letter. While its peers float in ethereal realms of shining gold, Duccio’s gilding lacks lustre, the tracery of cracks on its surface evincing the painting’s extreme age. Even the colors are not as bright. Mary’s dress, which dominates much of the scene, appears to be painted in somber azurite, rather than the brilliant ultramarine that…

Waiting in the Sky

Waiting in the Sky recreates a universal childhood experience

I don’t remember many of the places I was taken to between the ages of two to 10, but there is a sort of coalesced impression I have of the many backseats windows I saw the world through. That window is always safety-locked, for one, and won’t roll down past half-way. Usually, it’s raining outside, and I’ve sketched out little monsters in the condensation. Waiting in the Sky puts you in a similar backseat, the one from all your childhood memories. Instead of doodling on the fogged-over glass, you’re making constellations out of the stars. The celestial bodies are randomly…


Lovely Weather We’re Having brings you back outside and into the sunlight

Julian Glander doesn’t need to glamour you with guns, collectables, obstacles, death, or sex. He has the weather, a lovely pink dog, and rocks for you to kick around. The vibrantly colored world of Lovely Weather We’re Having doesn’t take you back to a specific time necessarily, but to a mind set, when the world seemed bigger and brighter and more mystifying. Though you can cast Lovely Weather under of the wide net of an “exploration game,” it focuses on a more organic discovery instead of the forward, chronological beats of a walking simulator. By mimicking the same forecast as the one outside…


Get ready to experience terrible videogame history: Night Trap is coming to browsers

Ah, the elusive Night Trap Fan. You hear of them often, but actual sightings remain a rarity. The creators of the infamous 1992 FMV (which, in part, sparked the videogame backlash that lead to the ESRB ratings we hold dear today) spoke about their many legions of fans last year when the Kickstarter sent ripples through a decade-old fanbase. Yet, despite the enthusiasm of this super fan group, the desire to see their beloved classic revamped fell just $290,000 short of what the developers demanded. But fear not, for the devotion of the Night Trap fan knows no bounds and cannot…


Never forget the surreal delight of Chuck E. Cheese with these old photographs

It was around 7 p.m. on a Sunday night when a mob of raucous adults turned violent at the local Chuck E. Cheese in Parma, Ohio. A woman attending a birthday party there complained that the photo booth wasn’t working. When the manager told her she would have to wait, one of the men from the party followed him into the kitchen where he then allegedly threatened to kill him. A brawl ensued as other employees and party-goers joined in. This is the kind of story that’s come to define how people think of the once flourishing family arcade chain.…